Stones of Aran


By Tim Robinson; John Elder (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590173145, 528pp.)

Publication Date: September 8, 2009

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Tim Robinson's "Stones of Aran" is one of the most striking and original literary undertakings of our time. Robinson's ambition is to find out both what it is to know a landscape, know it as extensively and intimately as possible, and what it takes to make that knowledge, the sense of the landscape itself, come alive in writing. It is a project that draws on the legacies of Thoreau and Joyce, to which Robinson brings his own polymathic gifts as cartographer, mathematician, historian, and, above all, shaper of words.
In "Pilgrimage" Robinson walked the entire coast of Airann, largest of the Aran islands. In "Labyrinth" he turns in to the island's interior. These two books--parts of an inseparable whole that can, for all that, be read quite separately from each other--constitute a vast polyphonic composition, at once encyclopedic and lyrical, scientific and surprisingly personal. Exploring the illimitable complexity and bounty contained in the seemingly limited confines of a single island, Robinson invites us to look without and within and to see the wonder of the world.

About the Author
Tim Robinson lives with his wife, Connie, in Indiantown, Florida.

John Elder is chair of the environmental studies department at Middlebury College. His books include "Reading the Mountains of Home."
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